There are eight main playable characters in Breath of Fire 2.
A descendant of the Dragon Clan. His power to use Dragons transformations was awakened after a botched fusion attempt. He is the rumored "Destined Child" that will destroy the evil God. His father, Ganer, was a preacher at the church at Gate. He has a sister named Yua, who is heavily hinted to be the female thief Patty. He can be played in two different stages of his life. At the beginning of the game he can be played in his child form for the first two battles of the game. After this, the game advances 10 years and he is then played as his adult form. Like his predecessor, he wields a sword in battle (and can inflict a great deal of damage with it) and can fish out on the field. He's the only character that can't fuse with Shamans, besides Bleu. He has his own spells that turn him into a dragon, but they consume all of his AP current whenever used.
Bow ("Bouche Doggy" in Japan)
An anthropomorphic dog, Ryu's best friend since childhood. He is a skilled thief who wields a crossbow in battle. Shortly after the game begins, Bow is framed for a robbery and the adventure begins as the player must find the real thief and prove his innocence. The player eventually does find the real thief and Bow is able to rejoin the party. On the field, Bow can use his crossbow to hunt meat for the party. His Fusion form is that of a giant mech who launches cannonballs at the enemy.
Katt ("Rinpoo Chuan" in Japan)
A woren girl who joins the party after Ryu saves her from a poisonous needle. Several times throughout the game, it is hinted upon that she has romantic feelings for Ryu. She wields a staff in combat, with the one end decorated with tiger-like claws. Her damage rivals Ryu's, and she possess greater speed, but she can't take nearly as much damage as him. Alongside Bow, she can hunt for meat although she must use close range attacks to kill. Katt can use several very powerful magics, but has barely enough magic skill to use them. Her Fusion form is that of a purple panther like creature which attacks with a high kick to the enemy.
A giant armadillo like creature. Rand is first encountered as a provider of information for Ryu. He is the biggest and physically strongest character in the game. Due to his massive size, he doesn't require the use of weapons as he fights with his fists. He also cannot use several pieces of armor due to his size. Rand is considered the tank of the game, possessing massive amounts of health and, despite not being able to use some of the more powerful armor, can absorb massive amounts of damage. He doesn't hit as hard as Katt and Ryu, however. On the field, he can curl into a ball and roll around to decrease the chance of encountering enemies. Rand is a skilled user of healing spells. His Fusion form is that of a small pink armadillo creature that rushes the foe with a tackle.
A Princess from the Winged Clan of Windia. She has a sister named Mina who sacrifices herself to become The Great Bird, allowing the party to fly. She is later revealed to be the Great-Great-Granddaughter of the original Breath of Fire character Nina. It is not confirmed but it is heavily hinted upon that she fell in love with BOF I Ryu, as BOF I Nina mentions she fell in love with a man of another clan. It is hinted, although not as much as Katt, that she harbors romantic feelings towards Ryu. Unlike her ancestor, Nina is a master of offensive spells and has black wings. Nina is the physically weakest character in the game and therefore depends on her magic to battle, though she does wield a variety of rings in combat. Her Fusion form is that of a highly decorated angel who attacks by launching a barrage of feathers at the foe.
An anthropomorphic chimpanzee. Sten is first encountered performing a magic act. He joins the party after he apparently became grateful to Katt, although the real reason may be because he is highly attracted to Katt and Nina. Sten is later revealed to be a former General in the Highfort army, where he was the lover of the princess. Sten is presumed dead in Highfort as he has not been home in years. Sten uses a dagger in battle and on the field he can use his long arms to reach across cliffs. His Fusion form is that of a djinn, a no legged beast that attacks by throwing fireballs at the enemy.
Ekkal Hoppa de Pe Jean ("Tapeta" in Japan)
An anthropomorphic frog, Jean is the prince of Simafort. He was first encountered in a forest where he was cursed to be a large scale version of a regular frog. He speaks with a French accent and wields a rapier in battle. On the field, he possesses the ability to transform into a giant frog which can leap up short cliffs and cross water. His Fusion form is that of a tall fish warrior/samurai creature that slices foes with a blade.
Spar ("Aspara Gus" in Japan)
A walking plant who possesses the ability to communicate with nature by talking to trees. Spar is first encountered held captive in a travelling circus as a side attraction. He wields a whip in battle and possesses the most amount of Fusions than any other character. He also can move freely in the woods, allowing the party to walk through dense forests. His three Fusion forms include a mushroom-esque female who throws her hat to attack, a small seed-like foe who can bud into a flower doubling its power but only resulting in attacks, and a giant snapdragon like creature. Unfortunately, despite possessing high HP and MP, he doesn't have any strong offensive or defensive spells, and his physical attacks are weak.
Bleu ("Deis" in Japan)
A naga-like sorceress of amazing power. Bleu makes a return to the Breath of Fire world, having been a playable character in the original game. Bleu can be recruited by finding her hub in a secret desert area and speaking to her spirit guardians. She can then be found in Magic School of Hometown. Bleu possesses the most powerful array of magic in the game, having several powerful spells that can obliterate the enemy. She is assumed to have joined the party because Ryu reminds her of her old friend, the original Ryu.